Thursday, December 17, 2015

"C is for the candy canes hung on the Christmas tree..."

So begins "The Christmas Alphabet", a song that I learned a gazillion years ago in kindergarten, and have sung every holiday season since. Or at least I thought I had learned it. When I looked it up while writing this post, I read that the first line is, in fact, "C is for the candy trimmed around the Christmas tree...huh?! I've been singing it wrong all of these years?! (It was some consolation that I had remembered the rest of the lyrics correctly.)

Well, accuracy aside, I was inspired to start a series of 5"x5" Christmas alphabet linocuts. There seem to be quite a few artists who enjoy doing an alphabet series; I think that they bring structure and direction on days when inspiration is lacking. For me, an alphabet also appeals to my sense of nostalgia, and my love of letters.

I'm planning on doing just the letters that spell Christmas, not the whole alphabet, at least for now. (At the rate I'm going, it may be a few Christmases before I'm finished!) You got a sneak peak of the second letter ("H") a couple of posts back, but I started with the piece shown above, based upon this drawing that I did a couple of years ago.

I'm working on mounted linoleum blocks, not the softer pink material that I sometimes use. I had been frustrated with lino the first time I tried it, before realizing that it had to have been an old piece. Lino hardens as it ages, making carving a real headache. The red holly berries on this print were added with colored pencil, rather than doing separate printing. Traditionalist printmakers would have my head for taking that shortcut, methinks.

I supposed it's fine that the candy cane lyrics were my own; I'd already taken liberties with the other song lyrics: I'd much rather draw H is for HOLLY, rather than HAPPINESS, so I'll just decide things as I go. Any predictions as to what I'm planning for R?

My blog posts have been a bit sparse this month as I've been busy getting ready for Christmas, but once the holidays pass, I'll be back to a more regular schedule of posting.

Happy holidays to all! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015